Okay so this one time I was living with my mom outside of Atlanta; I was in the five-year-old department. We lived in a nice apartment complex called Tanglewood; I remember it very clearly,...it had little fake timbers like we were living in Robin Hood's refugee camp. Anyway. We were the last apartment on the end of one of the buildings and if you walked across the parking lot and down a little slope, there was a swimming pool.
My uncle - who must have lived nearby; this part is fuzzy - once threw me in that pool to teach me to swim. It was barbaric, but it worked. I mean...I'm here aren't I? My uncle also had a maid named Sally who looked after me in the afternoon. One day, while Sally was watching me, I sneaked (snuck?) away and walked down the hill and jumped in the pool and swam around until I looked like a really white raisin. The problem was I did not tell Sally I was going to the pool and she lost her ever-lovin' mind looking for me. I was finally located by her laser-beam eyes and thrown into the back of a pickup truck, whereupon I was delivered to my uncle, who was building a restaurant at the time (I remember! I was called Mrs Boomer's! What Georgia town was this? Athens? Marietta? Kennesaw? one of them, I'm sure). I sat in the back of the truck in the parking lot and waited and waited and waited for hours. Or maybe it was five minutes...you know how things are when you're a kid and you know the hammer's about to come down.
And then my uncle walked across the parking lot, dropped the tailgate and spanked the hell out of me. Don't worry, Oprah...it wasn't abusive; it was instructive. To this day, I do what I am told and people named Sally terrify me. They should just load up a plane full of Sallys and let them loose in Afghanistan because when you see a big ol' Sally wearing an apron headed your way waving a rolling pin, you put up your hands and surrender. I can't even watch The Sally Field program with the grown kids and the problems, whatever it's called. Because in addition to her Sallyness, she also has brittle bones and I always worry that she hasn't taken her Boniva.
I think my uncle also spanked me once because I refused to eat a tomato. But maybe that's something I should share with my therapist.